Health & Gastronomy 31/08/2015

Music can change the making food

Is importat to cook with music? What kind of music in the kitchen? One of the main problems are how to motivate the staff who will likely be working a long shift

A growing body of scientific research has recently started to demonstrate how both music and soundscapes can influence people’s perception of the taste, flavour, and mouthfeel of food and drink.

However, to date, far less research has investigated the question of whether the music that happens to be playing in the background might also influence the way in which chefs, home cooks, and others making food (or, for that matter, mixing drinks) develop or season their creations. One of the aims of this review is to highlight the markedly different views currently held by chefs concerning the appropriateness of music in their kitchens (and the different roles that it might play).

Next, the evidence that has been published to date suggesting that the music people listen to can change the particular taste/flavour profiles that they create is reviewed.

A number of putative explanations for the crossmodal effects of music on taste are evaluated, including the suppressive effect of loud noise on certain aspects of taste perception, priming through crossmodal correspondences, and/or the influence of any music-induced changes in mood on taste/flavour perception.

Given that what we hear influences what we taste, and hence, how the person in the kitchen likely creates/seasons the dish, some commentators have been tempted to wonder whether the same music should perhaps also be played in the spaces (e.g., the restaurant or home dining room) where that food will be consumed in order to equate the conditions in which the dish or drink is seasoned/created with the environment in which it is tasted.

This opinion piece ends by stressing the limitations with such an approach.

One of the main problems being the kinds of music that the majority of chefs apparently prefer to listen to while working in the kitchen, music which is often chosen to motivate the staff who will likely be working a long shift.

di R. T.